Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: LPTA, PIA, price realism
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Phoenix Management, Inc. based on the award of a contract to Alliance Technical Services, Inc. (ATS), under a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Department of the Air Force, for launch support services at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The solicitation was issued as a total set-aside for small businesses and provided for the award of a fixed-price contract for a base period and a 10-month option period, followed by four one-year option periods. Award was to be made to the lowest priced technically acceptable proposal considering the following technical factors: understanding of requirements and technical approach; technical capability-launch refurbishment services (required licenses, training, and certifications); technical capability-corrosion control services (required licenses, training, and certifications); and technical capability-vehicle management services (required licenses, training, and certifications).
Phoenix alleged that ATS “misrepresented its authority to use the licenses and certifications of certain incumbent employees.” Phoenix argued, based on an earlier allegation that ATS improperly obtained and used in its proposal the names of the Phoenix and subcontractor employees and their respective licenses, certifications, and training records, that ATS violated the Procurement Integrity Act (PIA) and created an impermissible “unequal access” OCI. Following a prior protest, where Phoenix alleged the same thing, the contracting officer conducted a thorough investigation and determined that no violation had occurred or OCI existed. The contracting officer also concluded that there was no material misrepresentation in ATS’s proposal. The contracting officer interviewed representatives of ATS and SBAR, considered responses, including written statements from all of Phoenix’s and its subcontractor’s employees and conducted telephonic interviews. GAO found the record sufficient to agree with the contracting officer’s conclusions.
Phoenix also argued that the agency’s evaluation of ATS’s proposal under the price factor was flawed where ATS failed to provide certification that their employee compensation was consistent with applicable Service Contract Act (SCA) wage determinations. GAO found that there was no requirement for a cost or price realism analysis where the solicitation was for a fixed-price contract and the RFP never mentioned that such an analysis would be done.